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Sterling One Woman, Partner With Society For Corporate Governance Nigeria For IWD Celebration

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Sterling One Woman, Partner With Society For Corporate Governance Nigeria For IWD Celebration

Olushola Okunlade Writes

As part of activities to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) themed “Break the Bias,” Sterling Bank partnered with the Society for Corporate Governance, a non-governmental organization (NGO), to sensitize women professionals and other executives on how they can become active and effective board members as part of activities to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD).

Speaking at the one-day event with the theme: “Boardroom Readiness: Enlightening and Equipping Women,” Mrs. Ifunaya Ugboko, Head of One Woman, said, “We supported the program because there is a need for women to be conscious of their potential, equip themselves for boardroom positions and change the mindset perspective that boardroom positions are meant for men alone.
“We also want women to be intentional about their capabilities and aspire to greatness. Helping women into leadership positions, especially at the boardroom level, where they can contribute to the growth of their organizations and live a fulfilling life”.

While urging women to be inspirational, Ugboko disclosed that women can have access to credit solutions such as asset financing loans, distributorship loans, discounted business loans, nanny solutions to support work-life balance, trusteeship solutions, and get the One Woman card, which enables them to shop at discounted prices in selected stores under the One Woman proposition.

She drew attention to the need for women to embrace trusteeship solutions as part of Breaking the Bias.

Also speaking, but virtually, the keynote speaker, Dr. (Mrs.) Ajoritsedere Awosika, Chairman of Access Bank Plc, dwelt on the need for gender diversity on boards of companies and commended the Society for Corporate Governance for being at the forefront of enforcing corporate governance and increasing the number of women in boardrooms in Nigeria.

Sterling One Woman, Partner With Society For Corporate Governance Nigeria For IWD Celebration
LEFT-RIGHT: HEAD, ONE WOMAN, STERLING BANK, IFUNANYA UGBOKO; CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, FUTURE SOFTWARE RESOURCES LIMITED, NKEMDILIM UWAJE BEGHO; CO-FOUNDER, FALCON CORPORATION, AUDREY JOE-EZIGBO; CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, SOCIETY FOR CORPORATE GOVERNANCE NIGERIA, CHIOMA MORDI; AND MODERATOR, AND HEAD GOVERNANCE, STANBIC IBTC HOLDINGS, ESE NKADI, AT THE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2022 IN LAGOS… ON THURSDAY, PHOTO CREDIT: STERLING BANK.

Dr Awosika observed that bias against women in top leadership positions is a global issue as statistics show that only 6.7 per cent of positions on boards of directors are occupied by women globally. She, therefore, urged women to improve their skills by taking advantage of the outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic to register for online courses in that regard.

She listed some examples of women who had broken the glass ceiling in the boardroom, including Mrs. Mosun Belo-Olusoga, the first female Chairman of Access Bank in 2020; Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, former Chairman of First Bank Nigeria Limited; Chioma Mordi; Elohor Aiboni, MD, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company; Mariam Olusanya, MD/CEO of Guaranty Holding Trust Company; Mrs. Bola Adesola, former Managing Director and CEO of Standard Chartered Bank; and Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, current Managing Director and CEO of Fidelity Bank Plc.

Egbert Imomoh, Chairman of Investment One Financial Services Limited, also advised prospective women in the boardroom to be very strong, competitive, work hard at the beginning of their careers, be highly ethical, and have the strength of character to express their views on board meetings.

Imomoh, a former MD of Shell Nigeria, advised corporate organizations to expose women to leadership positions and identify viable ones that can bring value to their companies, adding that women should ensure that their voices are heard.

There was also a panel discussion moderated by Ese Nkadi, Head, Governance, Stanbic IBTC Holdings. Discussants include Nkedilim Uwaje-Begho, CEO of Future Software; Audrey Joe-Ezigbo, Co-founder, Falcon Corporation Limited; Bimbo Wright, Executive Director, Wright & Co. Limited; Mrs. Bola Tinubu, Board Chair, the Boardroom Africa; and Zelda Akindele, Partner with Templars.

The panel conversation was centred around women being confident, having a voice, being competent, growing their social network, keeping themselves abreast of local and global trends, and a lot more.

The discussants, nonetheless, agreed that appointments to boardroom positions for women should be based, on merit, accountability, and impact, among others.

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Sterling Bank Signs MoU With Optometrists On Funding, Capacity Building 

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Sterling Bank Signs MoU With Optometrists On Funding, Capacity Building

…“We have adopted a community approach in engagement with stakeholders in this sector – Akinmade

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Sterling Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading commercial bank, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Optometrist Association (NOA) to automate operations, enhance capacity and provide funding at competitive interest rates for members of the association.

Speaking at the signing ceremony of the MoU in Lagos recently, Mrs. Ibironke Akinmade, Group Head, Health Finance of Sterling Bank, said the initiative is part of the bank’s vision to be the leading bank for businesses in the health sector. 

She said, “We have adopted a community approach in engagement with stakeholders in this sector. This will not only give us leverage to develop tailor-made propositions for the community, but it also creates an inroad for engagement of their members through a cluster approach.”
Akinmade said the bank recently engaged the NOA in a bid to scale on its offerings to the health sector, which includes access to finance (template credit), access to digitalization (payment platforms and Electronic Medical Records) as well as advisory services, among others.

The Head of Health Finance said the rationale behind the partnership with NOA is to further position Sterling Bank as the bank of choice for businesses in the health sector, adding that this means more business collaboration and partnership with stakeholders in the health space.

She said the bank has earmarked N10 billion for the entire health care sector in the country and would accommodate any level of funding that members of the NOA may require. Under the MoU, members of the association will be able to borrow from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervention for the health sector at five percent as well as obtain template credit from the bank within 48 hours at a competitive interest rate of 20 percent, which is below the prevailing rate in the banking industry, she said.

Sterling Bank Signs MoU With Optometrists On Funding, Capacity Building
Left-Right: President of Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA), Dr. Obinna Awiaka; Group Head, Health Finance, Sterling Bank Plc, Ibironke Akinmade; Vice President NOA, Dr. Ogechi Nwokedi and Health Finance Manager, Sterling Bank Plc, Obiora Ezike at a signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Sterling Bank and NOA in Lagos recently.

Since 2018, Sterling Bank has concentrated investment in five sectors of the economy under its HEART strategy in a bid to make an impact on the country’s economic development. The five sectors in HEART’s strategy include health, education, agriculture, renewable energy, and transportation.

Also speaking, Dr. Obinna Awiaka, President of NOA, said the association wants a bank that would help its members to grow and discovered that Sterling is the only bank that has a passion for the healthcare sector.

He said the relationship between members of his association and the bank will build the economy because once the healthcare industry is built the economy will also be built.

Dr. Awiaka said the NOA is satisfied with the relationship with Sterling Bank because in no distant time the bank, in conjunction with healthcare professionals, will help to develop the sector, which will translate to a better future for the country.

He said the development will make Nigerian professionals that are leaving the country in droves return to the country to practice and this will reduce medical tourism among the country’s leaders.

He thanked Sterling Bank for coming on board and taking the bull by the horn to support the healthcare industry.

The NOA was established in 1968 and is the prime umbrella association representing over 5,000 doctors of optometry across the 36 states of the country and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, as well as all other optometric interest groups in Nigeria.

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Fidelity Bank Partners Edo State, GIZ To Host CBN RT200 FX Exports Roundtable, And Sensitisation Workshop  

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Fidelity Bank partners Edo State and GIZ to host CBN RT200 FX Exports Roundtable and Sensitisation Workshop  

Fidelity Bank partners Edo State and GIZ to host CBN RT200 FX Exports Roundtable and Sensitisation Workshop  

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The leading financial institution, Fidelity Bank Plc, has announced plans to host an exports roundtable and policy sensitisation workshop for businesses in Benin-City, Edo State capital in partnership with the Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO) and GIZ on Tuesday, 24 May 2022.  

The event, which would be the fourth edition of the bank’s CBN RT200 FX Sensitization seminars following successful outings in Kano, Ondo, and the Plateau States in February, March, and April 2022 respectively, is part of the bank’s initiatives to help importers pivot to exports. 

According to the Divisional Head, Export, and Agriculture, Fidelity Bank Plc, Isaiah Ndukwe, Fidelity Bank’s decision to partner ESIPO and GIZ is borne out of the need to help exporters to build their business management capacity and is further proof of the value the bank provides to export-oriented businesses in Nigeria. 

“At Fidelity Bank, we are known for empowering our customers with the necessary financial and non-financial services to upscale their businesses. We consider the CBN RT200 FX scheme an amazing opportunity for businesses to bolster their FX earning capacity and we are delighted to collaborate with ESIPO and GIZ to host businesses in and around Benin City for a workshop to help them take advantage of the scheme”, explained Ndukwe. 

Fidelity Bank partners Edo State and GIZ to host CBN RT200 FX Exports Roundtable and Sensitisation Workshop  

Launched on February 10, 2022, by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as part of measures to reduce the increasing demand for foreign currency by importers, the RT200 FX scheme is designed to help Nigeria achieve $200 billion in FX repatriation from non-oil exports over the next five years. The policy has been hailed by stakeholders in the export sector as an initiative capable of stimulating the growth of non-oil exports in Nigeria. 

“The goal of the roundtable is to identify and promote viable non-oil export opportunities, provide financing options, and proffer steps to removing the identified bottlenecks in the export process for non-oil products from Edo State to the global market. It will provide a platform for the exporters to meet with the export regulatory bodies and express their challenges that hinder exports. The event will also serve as an opportunity for the regulatory agencies to address the challenges on the spot and provide solutions to them with a view of enhancing Nigeria’s capacity in the African Continental Free Trade Area deal”, commented Marcus Unuebho of the Business Development Support and Export Unit, ESIPO. 

On his part, the Technical Advisor for Edo State, Local Economic and Value Chain Development, GIZ SEDIN, Nosakhare Omon Aigiomawu stated that “Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises are the drivers of local economic development. Collaborating to provide market linkages and access to finance would address major constraints to these groups and ensure more employment creation as well as higher-income”. 

Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 6.5 million customers serviced across its 250 business offices and digital banking channels. The bank was recently recognized as the Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking & Finance Awards. The bank has also won awards for the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards. 

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Stanbic IBTC Bank Nigeria PMI® Private Sector Activity Growth Quickens In April

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Stanbic IBTC Opens New Branch In Lekki Free Trade Zone

Stanbic IBTC Bank Nigeria PMI® Private sector activity growth quickens in April

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Marked and accelerated expansions in output and new orders helped drive a pick-up in growth in the Nigerian private sector during April.

However, private sector performance was once again impacted by elevated rates of inflation, uncertainty and unfavourable exchange rate movements.

Nevertheless, strong demand encouraged firms to add to their inventories and raise their headcounts at an accelerated pace. The headline figure derived from the survey is the Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI®). Readings above 50.0 signal an improvement in business conditions on the previous month, while readings below 50.0 show a deterioration.

According to Stanbic IBTC Bank, at 55.8 in April, up from 54.1 in March, the headline PMI signalled a sharp improvement in business conditions in Nigeria’s private sector. Growth has now been seen in each of the last 22 months with the latest uptick quicker than the long-run series average. Central to the improvement was an accelerated uptick in new orders.

The overall rate of expansion was marked as the third-quickest in the current 22-month sequence of growth. Panellists indicated that stronger demand and greater client requirements had been behind the latest increase in new business, with growth signalled across each of the four broad sectors covered by the survey. Strong inflows of new work resulted in a further uplift in output.

The rate of growth was robust and quickened from that in March. Sub-sector data revealed expansions across the board, though agriculture recorded the quickest expansion. Wholesale & retail, manufacturing and services followed, respectively. With workloads increasing, and demand expanding over the last 22 months, firms sought to boost headcounts in a bid to ramp up activity.

Subsequently, backlogs fell at the quickest pace for four months. To cater for higher output volumes, firms increased their buying activity in April. Stocks of purchases also rose, and at a quicker pace than in March. Turning to prices, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine exacerbated costs for a wide range of raw materials as well as fuel. Firms also indicated higher transportation fees.

The overall rate of input price inflation was substantial and the fourth-quickest in the survey’s eight-year history. Firms chose to pass on a large part of the burden to clients, with selling price inflation among the quickest in the series’ history.

Finally, firms were optimistic about growth in the year ahead, but sentiment dipped to a four-month low. Uncertainty surrounding the global environment and a lack of plans to expand operations led to the moderation in confidence.

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